Have you ever met a curmudgeon?
What do you do when you meet someone bitter and miserable?
I find myself mostly immune to their darkness.
I try to bring a little light and levity.
There was a guy in a group I was in once. He would mumble under his breath and make little snide comments.
One day a fun exciting single mom joined the group. Someone else in the group introduced her to me and we became quick chums.
She called me the following to ask me all about the new people she was meeting. We chatted and she mentioned she had encountered the curmudgeon.
That is not what she called him. He had a name. He even had a soft side apparently. A bond was struck between them and a relationship ensued.
We were all shocked in the group. No one could have imagined the disaffected guy getting a girl much less a seemingly great one.
The couple continued to see each other and interact with the group. What happened next just sticks with me.
I was young.
I had no expectations.
Slowly this new woman began to realize the type of reputation her new boyfriend had in the group she had joined. Her persona was so completely opposite it began to be disturbing for her.
She tried to help polish him up and mend broken down fences.
The boyfriend did not make this easy. I felt so badly for my new friend I tried to get involved.
I struck up a conversation with him one day.
Why do you act this way?
Can’t you just be nice to people?
I could only imagine he was just giving people a hard time. I thought he just needed someone to remind him that it was his choice to be in our association.
He said something so crude and rude to me I stopped talking to him and that takes a lot! He told me he did not care at all about anyone but himself basically…
Not being one to waste time on people who do not want to be helped I told him there was then nothing more we needed to say to each other.
As the weeks and months went by the girlfriend waged the losing public perception war. They even got married. He and I remained estranged. I mean I was at the wedding and I know how to be pleasant for decencies sake. He knew however that things were not the same.
I did not think any more about it or miss him little comments. Never the less my new friend swore that in his time with her it was breaking his heart. He misses your friendship and he is sorry she would tell me.
Then he could tell me that himself I always countered and that never happened. Eventually the couple divorced. He tried to claim the marriage never happened. Not that it was invalid but that it never took place.
The only problem with that is guess who witnessed the wedding? The people in the group with us that he said he really did not care anything about.
Many were probably only there for her. Still we had real hope that they would last and be happy.